Happy Monday Spursland!
Like half of the initally-selected England team, I’m assuming that many of you decided to take a little breather from football over the course of the international break (and really, who could blame you?). Time to re-engage yourself though, because this weekend we got ourselves an NLD comin’.
Theme of the Day
Mousa Dembele has handed Mauricio Pochettino a huge boost ahead of Saturday’s game by confirming that he feels fit enough to rejoin the playing squad. Mousa admitted over the summer that he may never be 100% again after undergoing foot surgery in May, which means that at most he can only be 350% better than the next best central midfield in the league.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are not having quite such a fortunate time of it at the moment with Olivier Giroud becoming a doubt for the NLD after picking up an injury with the French national team.
Elsewhere in football...
Before Christian Eriksen can focus on dismantling the Gunners he needs to help his country make it to the World Cup by overcoming Ireland in a second-leg playoff. The Danish captain had a few incredibly softly-spoken and polite words of fighting talk to share in the buildup to the tie.
Italy haven’t for the qualify for a World Cup for 60 years, so it seems almost surreal that failing to win against Sweden tonight will see them left out of next summer’s tournament. That’s 2017 for you, folks.
Is it possible to link heading footballs with an increased risk of dementia? Alan Shearer has been undertaking some research on behalf of the BBC.
For anyone else out there who routinely loses over 500 hours of their life per year on Football Manager, Iain Mackintosh’s FM18 Project over on The Set Pieces may be worth a look.